12.15.2006

HHCom 17

Loyalty should be treated as a precious thing, not used to manipulate and emotionally abuse. Haunted by a promise made to her dying mother, Zani Best has become the doormat of her family. But, when Zani's brother persuades her father to become involved in insider-trading, a chain of events is set in motion that will change her forever.

Someone is leaking secrets about Sunberri's soon-to-be-released computer game. If much more is revealed the game will be ruined and the company will be pushed to the verge of bankruptcy. Zani’s father has invested every penny he possesses in the computer games giant, if the leaks aren’t stopped, he’ll lose everything. Leaving her own small business to fend for itself, Zani reluctantly goes undercover as a PA, to find the mole. Top of her list is Corbin de Villers, her new boss. Corbin, who is carrying out his own investigation, soon realises that his secretary is not all that she says. Despite this, Zani’s elusiveness fascinates him, and he becomes determined to understand why shadows perpetually lurk in her eyes.

Crisis follows crisis, Zani’s father loses everything, and her brother disappears, leaving behind a £15million debt to the Russian mafia. It's up to Zani to save her family, even though it means she must dismantle her past. Slowly the acid self-hate that plagues her is replaced by a burgeoning self-confidence, and Zani discovers the happiness she thought she didn’t deserve.


Your hook starts in paragraph two and ends 101 words later. If you blather all the plot, you've lost any ounce of suspense.

7 comments:

HawkOwl said...

I agree with your thesis statement. I don't agree with the gushy way it's worded, and I don't want to read a novel about it. Still, it could have been a good novel, if it had been more "homey" and less insider-trading-y. More of a modern-day Gap Creek sort of thing. Pass.

December Quinn said...

If much more is revealed the game will be ruined and the company will be pushed to the verge of bankruptcy. Zani’s father has invested every penny he possesses in the computer games giant, if the leaks aren’t stopped, he’ll lose everything.

The second sentence is redundant. Try to avoid cliches like, "A chain of events is set in motion..." (just see how many of these hooks already use that phrase).

CabSav said...

I find it difficult to accept that a woman who runs her own business, and uses her initiative to get a job investigating leaks at another company, could ever turn out to be a doormat at home, for any reason, no matter what promises she has made.

Outside of that, if those 101 words Miss Snark mentioned were on the jacket of a book I picked up (and only those), I'd definitely open the book and take a closer look at the first page.

Benja Fallenstein said...

I'm sorry to say that to me this just sounds like one cliché after another, and it doesn't make me care about the main character.

I think this might work better if you told us what Zani actually does to save the day. If it bolsters her self-confidence, it would might make her seem competent and interesting to us the readers, too :-)

- Benja

Anonymous said...

Thanks Miss Snark, and thanks too for the constructive comments.

I had the idea that you were supposed to 'blather the plot' in the query letter, I read somewhere that you were never supposed to leave the agent reading it guessing about the book. So I've learned something here. I shall cease to blather immediately!

Cabsav: I don't see that business acumen and low-self esteem are mutually exclusive. I can think of many examples of successful people who have confidence issues. That said, I do get your point, and it's one that has been bothering me for a long time. A thousand times I've decided to rewrite her as a less successful person, but then thought NO, success does not mean she won't let her father and brother manipulate her with bullying and guilt. Meh! It's still bothering me!

Benja: Yes the book probably is clichéd, but most romance is!

Mig said...

I agree she sounds like a doormat.

The following phrase lost me: "understand why shadows perpetually lurk in her eyes." HUH?

First paragraph seems totaly unrelated to the following paragraphs.

Anonymous said...

Well Mig, She probably sounds like a doormat, because in the SECOND LINE of the hook I write... "Zani has become the doormat of her family."

But thanks for trying.